Your Favorite Pieces of Long-Form Journalism

Monday, March 14, 2011 - 11:01 AM

Today, Leonard spoke to ProPublica's Steve Engelberg and Frontline's Raney Aronson about long-form storytelling in a short attention span world. Part of the discussion centered on sites like Longreads and, which aggregate good long-form pieces, new and old. Here at the Lopate Show, we thought we'd share some of our own favorite pieces of long-form reporting—both pieces that we've discussed and others—and ask you, our listeners, to tell us your favorites. Let us know in the comments below!

Lopate Show staff picks:

Cary Barbor: (1) What Broke My Father's Heart - about how implanting a pacemaker ruined the author's father's life, by Katy Butler. (2) The Things He Carried - Jeffrey Goldberg investigates TSA services throughout the US.

Barbara Cahn: (1) The Liberation of Lori Benson - profile of Lori Benson by Jennifer Egan. (2) Mario Vargas Llosa's article “Inquest in the Andes,” New York Times Magazine, 31 July 1983, about the Shining Path guerillas, and the murder of 8 journalists in a remote village in Peru. Riveting, and the cover photo was mesmerizing. (No link)

Julia Corcoran: The Apostate: Paul Haggis v. The Church of Scientology  - Lawrence Wright's epic piece on Scientology for the New Yorker.

Kim Gittleson: (1) Trial By Fire - David Grann on whether Texas mistakenly executed an innocent man. (2) Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond? - a great 1982 article from the Atlantic on the essential worthlessness of diamonds.

Leonard Lopate: I loved all of the Oscar nominees for best documentary this year, particularly Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger's "Restrepo" and Josh Fox's "Gasland."

Christina Maldonado: "Final Salute" by Jim Sheeler for the Rocky Mountain News - a 2006  Pulitzer Prize winner for best feature that tells the story of a Marine corporal who's task is to notify the families of the death of their loved ones in Iraq.

Blakeney Schick: Two Families Struggle With Sons' Gender Identity - the story of 2 young kids who were easily identified as gay from an early age and how they, the 2 boys and their peers dealt with it.

Steven Valentino: Deadly Medicine - Donald Bartlett and James Steele investigate the ethically questionable practice of pharmaceutical drug trials. (We spoke to them about it.)

Dan Volpe: Wretches and Jabbers - Gerardine Wurzburg's film follows Larry Bissonette and Tracy Thresher, two autistic men, and describes the advocacy work they are doing around the globe bringing awareness of the autistic experience by communicating through keyboards.


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Comments [2]

Trial by Fire, by David Grann. New Yorker Sept 9, 2009

Heartbreaking and informative piece about Cameron Todd Willingham who was put to death for the fire that killed his three children despite overwhelming evidence the fire was electrical in origin. Very informative as to how fires are investigated.

Mar. 14 2011 12:42 PM
Calls'em from Here, there & everywhere.

The two most important pieces of domestic long form journalism was via video, by upstarts... the folks that broke the story of the absolute corruption of ACORN and the more recent peek into NPR's bias, anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism. More to come. Perhaps you or one of your guests will do a piece on where Barry's $800 million dollar campaign war chest came from in 2008, much of which is still unaccounted for.

Mar. 14 2011 12:39 PM

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The Lodown is a blog about everything brought to you by the staff of the Leonard Lopate Show (Leonard will even drop by from time to time)! We cover food, art, politics, history, science and much more -- literally everything from Picasso to pork pies. Tips and suggestions are welcome so please send us your thoughts, curiosities and intellectual detritus!

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